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Samsun


Agricultural produce    EN

Author: CÖMERT YASEMIN

Author: Yasemin CÖMERT

Canik was one of the most important regions of the Ottoman Empire from an economic and strategic perspective. Although the Canik region underwent various changes in terms of its administrative division during the 19th century, in 1898 it consisted of the districts of Unye, Bafra, Çarşamba , Niksar, Fatsa, Terme and the subdistricts of Kavak, Alaçam , Karakuş [1].

Agriculture was a vital part of the economy in all periods of the Ottoman Empire. The central government always gave importance and controlled agriculture for reasons of sustaining the administrative regions and the military, for preventing the decrease of tax income and for the welfare of the people in general. For those reasons, agriculture was so important in Canik Starboard as it was in all of the Ottoman lands. Grain had the largest share in the field of cultivation and production in agricultural areas. Wheat was the produce predominantly cultivated in the grain areas, not only because of the fact that it was the primary ingredient of the people’s food (bread, burghul, starchy foods were all produced from wheat), but also because it could be grown in all kinds of climates.

In Trabzon Province, a large amount of wheat was produced in the Canik region, besides the fact that the most number of mills and bakeries were found there accordingly. In Canik, 524,730 bushels of wheat were produced out of the total of 811,019 bushels produced in the Trabzon Province; 1173 mills out of 4311 mills and 8895 bakeries out of 14785 bakeries were located in the Canik region[2].

A great deal of grain cultivation was done in the Çarşamba District of the Canik region: in 1879, 69,990 kile out of 524,730 kile[3] of wheat, produced in the Canik district was produced in Çarşamba[4]. The annual grain production of the region at this period amounted to 48,000,000 kuruş [5]. However, there were frequent failures in the grain production, initially with corn during arid seasons. For example, we can see that the drought in 1887 caused a sharp dicrease in the corn yield at Çarşamba and Fatsa[6].

Although wheat cultivation was commonly done in the Canik region, other products were also produced in some districts. For instance, we see that tobacco and corn production came before wheat production in the Çarşamba district[7].

Barley agriculture came after wheat in regards to the width of the cultivation areas and the amount of production among the grain produced in the Canik region. This was owed to the fact that barley can be used as an animal food and can be grown in all climates. Besides, the amount of barley production increased in the areas of villages and arable fields where livestock was raised. In areas where barley agriculture was done, wheat agriculture also took place in parallel.

Next to the 524,730 keyl of wheat produced in 1879, 350,650 keyl of barley was produced too[8]. In addition to this, oat which was also used as an animal food was produced in the region[9].

We see that the wheat, barley and oat produced in the region met its consuming needs.

Product

Produced

in the region

Consumed in the region

Exported

Wheat

482,500

420,000

62,500

Barley

306,500

282,500

24,000

Oat

363,000

329,000

36,000

Table 1. İbrahim, Serbestoğlu, “Canik Sancağı’nda Tarımsal Kalkınma Teşebbüsü (1860-1870)”, Tarih Boyunca Karadeniz Ticareti ve Canik 1, Samsun 2013, p.127-134.

A larger amount of wheat, barley and oat produced in Canik was consumed inside the region, whereas a part of it was exported. The grain product mostly cultivated and exported was wheat.

Product

Domestic

Abroad

Wheat

36,903,900

12,929,300

Barley

279,500

294,100

Oat

6,706,600

155,600

Table 2. Vital Cuinet, La Turquie d’Asie 1, p.95, Paris, 1892, transfer; M.Emin, Yolalıcı, XIX. Yüzyılda Canik Sancağı’nın Sosyal ve Ekonomik Yapısı, p.80.

While part of the grain sent outside of the region was exported to other regions too, a part of it was exported abroad. The country to which wheat was overwhelmingly exported was France: 32,677,100 kg out of 36,903,900 kg of wheat exported abroad were sent to France[10].

The prices of the aforementioned grain products changed accordingly with the conditions of the period. While the bushel of wheat cost between 3-3.5 kuruş in the 18th century, it increased to 6 kuruş in the mid-19th century and while the bushel of barley cost between 1.5-2 kuruş , it increased to 6 kuruş [11]. The bushel of oat cost 3 kuruş at the beginning of the 19th century[12]. One bushel of Samsun barley cost 25 kuruş (silver Ottoman coin) and three bushels of Samsun wheat cost 150 kuruş in the year of 1841[13].

Grain shortages beginning with the drought and epidemic diseases in 1837 and continuing until 1841, resulted in the rise of the prices of agricultural products[14]. Also, the interruption of wheat imports from Russia was responsible for this. When the imports from Russia ceased due to the Crimean War, the demand for Anatolian grain increased, triggering the increase in prices.

The primary export goods of Samsun in 1901 consisted of wheat, barley, corn, flour, opium, tobacco and eggs, yielding 7 million kuruş [15].

 


[1] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1879

[2] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1879

[3] 1 kile-keyl: 25,6 kg

[4] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1879

[5] M.Emin, Yolalıcı, XIX. Yüzyılda Canik Sancağı’nın Sosyal ve Ekonomik Yapısı, Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, Ankara 1998, p.80

[6] Mucize Ünlü, “XIX. yüzyıl Sonlarında Çarşamba’da Kuraklık” (Drought in Charshamba in the late XIX th century), Karadeniz İncelemeleri Dergisi, Year. 6, Issue. 12, Spring 2012, Trabzon, p. 126, 130.

[7] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1896, p.260

[8] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1879, p.283

[9] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1879, p.283

[10] Vital Cuinet, La Turquie d’Asie 1, p.95, Paris, 1892, transfer; M.Emin, Yolalıcı, XIX. Yüzyılda Canik Sancağı’nın Sosyal ve Ekonomik Yapısı, Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, Ankara 1998, p.80

[11] Abdullah, Bay, “Trabzon Eyaletinde Mütegallibe Hareketleri ve Ayanlık (1750 - 1850)”, (Atatürk Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Yayınlanmamış Doktora Tezi, Erzurum 2007), p.249 and Mehmet, Beşirli, “XIX. Yüzyılın Başlarında Samsun Şehri”, (19 Mayıs Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Yayınlanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi, Samsun 1993), p.89-90

[12] Mehmet, Beşirli, “XIX. Yüzyılın Başlarında Samsun Şehri”, (19 Mayıs Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Yayınlanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi, Samsun 1993), p.89-90

[13] Mehmet, Beşirli, “XIX. Yüzyılın Ortalarında Samsun Vakıfları ve Gelirleri”, Geçmişten Geleceğe Samsun Sempozyumu Bildirileri, Samsun 2006, p.448

[14] Mübahat, Kütükoğlu, "XIX. Yüzyılda Trabzon Ticareti", Birinci Tarih Boyunca Karadeniz Kongresi Bildirileri (13-17 Ekim 1986), Samsun, 1988, p.102

[15] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Trabzon Province Annuals), 1901, p.407



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